Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire is serving its first-ever Christmas menu, but its contents remain something of a mystery.
Blumenthal, who says “I love the sights, sounds, and smells of the festive period, but I can’t stand the traditional Christmas Dinner”. So rather than serving up the perfect roast turkey with Brussels sprouts, diners at the former best restaurant in the world can look forward to ‘The Fable Tree’, a festive menu that is billed as a ‘celebration of Christmas and the stories that revolve around it’.
“This is the most exciting thing we have ever done,” says Blumenthal. “Nostalgia is a key element that lies at the core of what we do at The Fat Duck. Our role is to help guests recall their happiest memories”.
The ‘Fable Tree’ menu is based on the Christmas tree and takes diners on an ‘edible adventure, with an influence of the fir tree and includes a three bird roulade, retro 70s starters, liquid nitrogen cocktails and desserts that include liquorice and vanilla, cheese that tastes of ice-cream and figs that taste of cheese. An advent calendar style menu guides diners through their meal with surprises at every turn.
Drawing on Blumenthal’s own Christmas memories the Christmas feast at The Fat Duck is aiming to spark childhood memories for its guests. The menu doesn’t come particularly cheap, coming in at £375 per head on a prepaid reservation.
“The story begins in nature where seeds turn into a Christmas tree,” reads The Fat Duck website, “following its journey from the woods in to our home, we explore our connectivity with nature, the symbolism of the tree and the emotional connections between friends and family during a special time of the year.”